In New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) regulates the utilities such as electric, telecommunications, natural gas, water, and sewer in the state. The NHPUC has general jurisdiction over electric, telecommunications, natural gas, water and sewer utilities for issues such as rates, quality of service, finance, accounting, and safety. Further, the NHPUC provides the customers of regulated utilities with safe, adequate, and reliable service at just and reasonable rates. The NHPUC is also responsible for promulgating rules and regulations governing all utilities subject to its jurisdiction.
The NHPUC is composed of the following divisions such as Legal Division, Administration Division, Consumer Affairs Division, Safety Division, Electric Division, Telecommunications Division, Gas and Water Division, Audit Division, and Sustainable Energy Division. Among these divisions, the Safety Division monitors and inspects construction and safety practices of all New Hampshire gas utilities. The Gas & Water Division assists the NHPUC in regulating twenty water utilities and five sewer utilities in New Hampshire. The Telecommunications Division assists the NHPUC in regulating the $800M telecommunications industry in New Hampshire. The Consumer Affairs Division helps in finding information about utility services. And the Sustainable Energy Division assists the NHPUC in implementing specific state legislative initiatives aimed at promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency and to advance the goals of energy sustainability, affordability, and security.
Some of the functions of the NHPUC include:
- fostering competition where appropriate;
- providing necessary customer protection;
- providing fair, open, and innovative regulatory process; and
- regulating the standards and practices of all pipeline facilities for the transportation of gas within the state.
Further, the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) provides information, data and guidance to assist decision makers on issues relating to development, land protection, energy use, and community planning. In addition, the OEP promotes energy efficiency and reduces energy costs by supporting programs for low-income households, state government buildings, businesses and industry, and schools and towns. The OEP also explores opportunities for promoting the use of renewable, domestic energy resources such as biomass, wind, and solar energy.